Courage Required!

I struggle all the time with my actions — or lack thereof. I don’t act because I want to do things right the first time. I don’t like do-overs. I don’t like failure. I don’t like missteps or re-directions. Straight lines. Absolutes. Definitive yes’s. Resolute no’s. Black. White. Those make me happy. (When they’re in my favor.)

But life isn’t lived that way. We are fallible beings incapable of doing anything worth doing or tackling any challenge worth the effort with the assurance of doing it right the first time. The only way we can assuredly do anything right from the beginning is if we’ve previously completed the equivalent task so that the decisions required aren’t decisions any more but reactions. The only way we are assured success is if nothing new is thrown before us. No fast balls. No jabs. No stumbling blocks thrown our way which essentially means that all variations have been removed. No room for color.

How dull.

Therefore, perfection without challenge, life without mistakes, attempts without failure cannot be the attributes of a life well-lived. Rather, they are the tell-tale signs of a life merely existing. Yikes.  So my paradigm needs to shift. My failures must be embraced as my teachers. My misdirection as gifts. My failed attempts simply guideposts to myself and others – markers more clearly defining the path when we try again.

As a child of God I am called to live, take chances, demonstrate courage, and FAIL. For it is in the failure where I am teachable. It is in the missteps where I must rely on Him. It is in the  do-overs where my heart and head are more able to accept the redirection He requires in my life. I am ordered to speak truth, to love deeply, and to stand resolute in His promises. The promises He has granted both by His mercy and through my obedience. My obedience is my job. Honesty is my job. Planting my feet in His will by daily reading His word, the Bible.  Those are my responsibilities.

Therefore, it only stands to reason that my success or failure is not measured by how I perform any other task but those. It is not in how my words are received. It is not in how my actions are interpreted. My failure and success is measured by my obedience to God. It is in Him that I find success. It is in Him where my reward lies. From Him is where I should be seeking my “atta-girls” and “well dones”. Not this world. Not from the jaded and one-sided perspective I’m allowed  to see. I don’t know what He is using (or not using) in the lives of others. I don’t know what actions and words of mine intimately touch others. I don’t know what the Holy Spirit will use to convict or bless others because what has meaning to me may be noise to others. So it is in Him alone where I must seek assurance and turn for direction. And because of that, I am free to live a courageous life. My calling is sure. My tasks simple. Obey, Love, Read Daily, Live out-loud.

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